bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

CPTPP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, or also known as TPP11) is a trade and investment agreement that was signed on 7 March 2018, after ten years of negotiation, between 11 Pacific Rim countries.

It began as an agreement between the four Pacific states of Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The P4 (Pacific 4), as it was then known, was signed on 3 June 2005 and came into force on 1 January 2006 as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.

In September 2008, the US Trade Representative announced that the US would seek entry into the P4 agreement. For Washington, the P4 offered a neoliberal agenda-friendly platform to expand US economic and strategic interests in Asia. A few months later, the governments of Australia, Peru and Vietnam announced their intention to join as well. Malaysia, Mexico, and Canada joined the negotiations in 2010, while Japan joined in 2013. The US quickly assumed leadership of the whole negotiating process of the now called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP or TPPA).

The TPP was signed in New Zealand on 4 February 2016. But on 23 January 2017, the new US President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the trade pact. On 21 May 2017, on the margin of the APEC forum in Vietnam, the remaining members agreed to conclude talks on an alternative arrangement of the deal without the US by November.

The remaining 11 countries signed the newly-dubbed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on 8 March 2018.

Over the years, trade unions, advocacy groups, internet freedom activists, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, health professionals and elected officials criticised and protested against the treaty because it was designed to extend and concentrate corporate power at the expense of people’s rights.

For instance, by granting corporations and investors enormous privileges, the CPTPP helps to to further undermine conditions and wages for workers which have already been eroded by other trade and investment agreements.

Among other controversial clauses, the CPTPP parties agreed to enhance cooperation on certain activities related to agricultural biotechnology. The treaty requires member states to ratify the UPOV Convention of 1991, a kind of patent system for seeds. This will expand the market for privatised genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hybrids, and threaten traditional seeds and knowledge.

The CPTPP’s chapter on regulatory coherence forces a signatory government to engage with “interested persons” when it intends to strengthen public policies. This means that companies from CPTPP countries are given the ability to provide input to national policy making in other member states. Governments also have to conduct regulatory impact assessments, justifying the “need for a regulation” and exploring “feasible alternatives” before proceeding.

Finally, the CPTPP’s sweeping investment chapter extends transnational companies ability to challenge public policies related to health, the environment (the treaty fails to mention climate change even once) or labour. It includes the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that allows corporations to sue a state if a new regulation hampers their expected profits or investment potentials.

Mexico ratified the treaty on 28 June 2018, followed by Japan on 6 July, Singapore on 19 July, New Zealand on 25 October, Canada on 29 October, Australia on 31 October and Vietnam on 15 November. The Treaty went into force on 30 December 2018 among the members who have ratified it.

The text of the agreement is available here: https://www.bilaterals.org/?tpp-trans-pacific-partnership

last update: July 2021
Photo: Chile Mejor Sin TLC


China Watch|Why Beijing’s bid to join TPP trade pact was a major miscalculation
If Taiwan becomes a member first, China will find itself in the miserable position of having to beg for Taiwan’s consent to join the TPP.
Countries race to join CPTPP
Chinese Taipei is the latest of three countries seeking to join the CPTPP – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership.
Japan’s position on the CPTPP applications of China and Taiwan
When it comes to their position on the applications, CPTPP members are divided. The CPTPP operates on unanimous consent, so if even one country is against an application, membership will not be granted.
Taiwan questions China’s suitability for Pacific trade pact, fears ’obstruction’
China’s restrictive practices present fundamental problems for its application to join a major pan-Pacific free trade pact, and if it joins before Taiwan there is a risk it could block their application.
S. Korea actively reviewing trans-Pacific trade pact
South Korea’s trade ministry said it is reviewing joining a mega free trade pact comprising Asia-Pacific countries in line with its goal to play a leading role in trade in the region.
Australia’s real leverage in China’s CPTTP bid
When China applied earlier this month to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the renamed 11-nation trade pact spanning Asia and the Pacific, Beijing seemed to hand Australia the rare diplomatic gift of leverage.
Taiwan applies to join TPP free trade pact on China’s heels
Taiwan formally submitted an application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, the government said, just days after mainland China filed its bid for membership.
China wants to join the trade pact once designed to counter it
CPTPP members will have a robust discussion on China’s application. It’s hard to argue that Beijing’s trade regime will be in line anytime soon with CPTPP disciplines on state-owned enterprises, labor, digital trade, and intellectual property protection, among other concerns.
China’s entry to CPTPP trade pact is closer than you think
China’s entry to the CPTPP trade pact will not be easy, requiring the agreement of all existing members, including countries experiencing strained ties with Beijing such as Canada and Australia.
China applies to join Asian trade deal US abandoned
Beijing has applied to join an Asia-Pacific trade pact once pushed by the U.S. as a way to isolate China and solidify American dominance in the region.

    Links


  • AFTINET TPP site
    Web page on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement maintained by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
  • Expose the TPP
    The TPP would expand and lock in corporate power. At the heart of the TPP are new rights allowing thousands of multinational corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of three corporate lawyers who can award unlimited sums to be paid by America’s taxpayers. Only six of its 30 chapters actually cover “trade.”
  • Help free the TPP!
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement—which some have come to refer to as "NAFTA on steroids"—could ultimately affect the lives of billions of people worldwide. Neither the public, the press, nor even the US Congress knows the full extent of what’s in the text being negotiated—but corporate lobbyists know what it contains. Help us raise a reward for WikiLeaks should it publish the negotiating text of the TPP!
  • It’s our future
    Website on the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement for New Zealand
  • Mexico Mejor Sin TPP
    Convergencia de Organizaciones Sociales y Ciudadanxs contra el Acuerdo Transpacífico de Cooperación Económica (TPP por sus siglas en inglés)
  • Moana Nui 2011
    Pua Mohala I Ka Po in collaboration with the International Forum on Globalization presents an international conference on Pacific transitions: "Moana Nui: Pacific peoples, lands and economies", November 9-11, 2011 Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Occupy TPPA
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a mega-treaty across nine or more countries. If the negotiations succeed they will put a straightjacket on the policies and laws our government can adopt for the next century. Corporations will gain massive new powers in Australia. Help us stop the TPPA!
  • Rock against the TPP
    Join us for a nationwide uprising and concert tour to stop the biggest corporate power grab in history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Stop TPP Action
    Japanese alliance website